Both the Giants and the Dodgers face off tonight, both teams need to do their best. The giants are throwing Logan Webb, who even started. Game 1 In this series, only five hits were allowed in 7.2 innings, no walks, and 10 dismissals (closed for its season high). Web is 7-0 at home, including its win in Game 1 and had an ERA of 1.96 at Oracle Park during the regular season. The Dodgers are choosing … Corey Blanket? Not Julio Urias?
Huh? Well, if this is not the head scratcher of all head scratchers. I can usually understand the manager who chooses this strategy, but not at this point. The Dodgers have used openers, including blankets, four times elsewhere this season, but why now?
Overall, the Dodgers are 8-5 this year when someone uses an opener who runs two innings deeper or less, and 3-1 in games where Knebel is the opener, but success in such small sample size. Despite this, it seems a very dangerous move, no? So, why are they doing this?
Obviously, I’m not in Dave Roberts’ mind, so I can only speculate, but it’s probably just a match-up issue. Take the example of Darren Roof. He served as the Giants’ lead hitter in Game 2 and had two hole hitters in Game 4, while Roof scored 3 for 0 in Game 2 with two strikeouts against Orias. Did a great job against At 113 on the bat against the South Poles in 2021, Roof posted 1.007 OPS. Other hitters are constantly near the top of the lineup of giants such as Wilmer Flores (.803 ops left), Austin Slater (.894), and of course Buster Posey (1.051) all probably more than one against Urias. Bats would be found if it was Urias. Start the game. The decision to start Knebel seems to be an attempt to get the giants out of their comfort zone.
Is he now leading Mike Estrazimski? He has been one of his most consistent hitters this season (.848 ops), but he has been a fairly poor hitter When the giants are placed at the top of the lineup. In 2021. He is hitting just 176 with a .385 slugging percentage at the top of the order, and batting with a .299 on twenty-two percent when placed in two holes. Not to mention that this would mean that Esther Zemsky would have to face Eurasia at least once or twice while serving as a table setter for the giants. Yaz hasn’t been good against the left this year, so it’s a bad scene for San Francisco. Of course, the giants can always only knock out Yastrzemski after the first, but every alternate is important in all of the winning game 5, and perhaps Gabe Kepler is reluctant to pull the trigger fast on Yaz. Generally, you want to save your subch later in the game so that you can hit your horses or make defensive alternatives when you take the lead.
Maybe they should throw Steven Dogger at the top of the lineup? He hasn’t done well in the lead-off role, even though he’s been semi-permanent against the left and right, so maybe he’ll be able to take that risk? All of these questions, scenarios, and data points that I’m throwing out are now being run by Gabe Kepler and company leaders, and that’s why it’s such a smart move by the Dodgers. This keeps their opponents out of the game. Although the Dodgers knew who they were facing in Game 5 now, the decision to announce Conbell as a starter would likely throw a wrench into the Giants’ entire project from the first pitch. It’s hard to plan a game for something like this when the Dodgers haven’t done it all.
Furthermore, Urías is the person who feels comfortable coming out of the pen. I know some starters struggle to adjust to the role of getting out of the pen, even coming up with an opener, but Eurasia has appeared in 36 regular season games during his career. Where they were not starters. In 2019, Uras was almost exclusively used by the Dodgers as a reliever, and he progressed into the role by posting a 2.49 ERA (career low) in 79.2 innings this season. If there’s anyone in the Dodgers’ starting rotation who can take advantage of coming after the opener, it’s the attack.
I like the Dodgers move. I was confused at first about how well Uras performed in Game 2, but is the decision to start Canberra really different from bringing Cannibal out on leave after the fifth inning? If anything, the move either forces the giants to start their normal lineup, with urea likely to face only once or twice above this lineup, possibly three times. Will force, or set up a lineup from which they are random to get the most desired matchup.
This is a victory for the Dodgers. It doesn’t matter if it gives the Dodgers an advantage in the early stages of the game, and in a season series where the team scoring the first goal is 21-2, it is important to get an early advantage. Let’s see how San Francisco responds.